Small government was Re: [extropy-chat] EMP Attack?

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at
Mon Apr 18 22:21:08 UTC 2005

--- BillK <pharos at> wrote:
> On 4/18/05, wrote:
> > Not clearly.  In the technologically advanced part of
> > the world, the national-level governments do too much
> > and cost too much.  Common defense and road building
> > is all they really need at that level.  The rest of
> > the stuff can be governed at a sublevel, such as the
> > American states, where we proles have a choice to
> > live there or in another competing state.  Competition
> > forces state governments to optimize themselves.
> > 
> Nice idea. Many practical difficulties (as usual with neat political
> theories).

Only if one is intent on choosing one's state citizenship day by day or
week by week. Living on a state boundary is generally sufficient,
because so far as the state is concerned, it measures its customer
satisfaction demographically. If your residents go shopping in other
states, your sales taxes are too high. If people try to register their
vehicles elsewhere, your licensing fees are too high. If people try to
earn and keep their income out of state, your income taxes are too
high. If more people move out of state than move in, you have a lot of
work to do in many areas. Voting with your feet is a time honored
American tradition.

Europe doesn't seem to have quite figured this out, though some have.

> Outside USA moving to a different system involves big costs. Usually
> learning a new language, new customs, new social behaviours, new job,
> new schools, new tv programs, new everything, really. I haven't
> noticed countries changing much because their neighbour does things a
> different way. Anti-smuggling laws, border patrols, fines, keep the
> proles in order mostly.

Thank goodness for Fox News. In a dozen years, you will all be able to
speak Red State English (it works, I know some Iranians who have
perfect American accents and have never been far from Tehran), then all
you have to do is adopt the US Constitution, start wearing pistols on
your hips, and the United States of Earth will be starting off on the
right track.

> Even in the USA, what you really want is to live near the junction of
> about four states, where you can work in one state, go to school in
> another state, go to hospital in yet another state,   invest in
> another state, and holiday in Florida.

Not necessary. I live in the free state, and am currently working in
Florida for a few months. I've worked across state borders a number of
times. In almost every case, one side knew it was in better shape and
why, while the otherside knew it was getting screwed but had little
political clout to change things in a distant state capital that got
its dog wagged by whoever was getting the most money out of the system.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 

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